I'm a programmer for a living, so I know that sometimes things take longer than expected. However, if I kept pushing my deadlines out like this, I'd be strongly pressed to at least develop a workaround to allow our customers to keep using their systems.
Possible workarounds (some have been suggested long ago):
1) Move all characters back to the standby list during each maintenance. That way players can change the characters they use on a weekly basis.
2) Create enough new game accounts for each player to hold the standby characters associated with a WarpPortal account.
It's a different scale.
I am a programmer as well and in our company, we don't change things unless we get paid for it. Either due to a maintenance contract or an independently paid change request. The order in which and the priority how these tickets are processed depends on how valueable the customers are.
is it so hard to for example remove penetration from mobs and let player with squishy defence not die at first hit after ml30?
is it so hard to increase drop of equipments and rebalance bosses in assassins sanctum and silent coridor to avoid to buy everything with MP?
I know this is a new team that has the game only for 6 months but i'm talking of changing values on a tab and not rewriting a game code!!!
But what if all that would require rewriting game code?
Everything is 'game code'... even configuration files, 3D models, etc. In fact, everything is data that must comply with some rules.
The true question is, whether the appropriate parts are easy to find, easy to understand, easy to test and whether there's a risk of unwanted side effects.
And interestingly, 'balance' is one of the easiest parts. In most cases, you simply replace a value with a different one. And even if you have to alter a formula (f.e. how the defense rate is calculated), it's something you can test separately (f.e. in a test case or different program [even offline]), typically doesn't contain but a handful of methods (blocks of code) and rarely causes unforseen results.
So in my opinion, balance changes aren't even a part of the 'substantial changes' phrase // limitation...
To increase the amount of active characters per account might be a more dificult task. First, you have to create a new 'screen' or dialog. But the true problems start, should either the client-server communication or the 'bound item' system use it's own (shortened) data format for transmitting / storing the character-ID. Then, you'd have to fiddle around all these parts, risking severe consequences in case of a mistake.
There's a lot of rebalance talk going on right now. We're not aiming for changing things now, just to change it a month or two later and have to go over the same content again.
Part of the issue is gear progression went crazy and out of balance, meaning the penetration solution doesn't work as intended any more. The difference between different def levels on gear is just nuts.
There have been 'rebalance talks' for years now. And IMO, if this is the approach: "We're not aiming for changing things now, just to change it a month or two later", you'll still discuss this two years from now.
To go a bit more in detail --- There was a simple system for defense: The value was calculated like this:
Gear_defense = constant_base_value * 1.05 item_lvl
In other words: A 5% bonus per level.
If a piece of cloth armor had a base value of 10, this is how the defense values would have looked like:
- ... a lvl-5 item = 13 defense
- ... a lvl-20 item = 27 defense
- ... a lvl-30 item = 43 defense
- ... a lvl-50 item = 115 defense
- ... a lvl-80 item = 496 defense (AoV changed this)
Leather and heavy armor would have a higher value and different gear qualities (green, blue, purple) would also provide an additional (percentual) bonus.
This system was quite fine. Players would always get a noticable increase of defense. What really matters is how the value is transformed into defense rate. But no matter of the formula you choose, it's easy to see what a refinement bonus of +270% causes.
So the truth is that the 'rebalance discussion' isn't just about modifying values or simple formulas, it's also about questioning the existing income // profit strategies (or refunding players for previous investments [see seedrunes, +9 cards, etc.]).
Edited by Greven79, 25 July 2016 - 04:47 AM.